Mahbooba Headlines Cape Verdi Stakes
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins
Mahbooba won the Al Rashidiya Trial on January 5 at Meydan.

Mike de Kock’s Mahbooba will be gunning for her second straight win in the young Dubai racing season when she takes on seven rivals in the $200,000 Cape Verdi Stakes-Sponsored by The Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-IIT) Jan. 20. The eight-furlong turf contest highlights the fourth night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse.

The 5-year-old daughter of Galileo scored an easy victory over males in the ungraded Al Rashidiya Trial, an allowance race which was contested over nine furlongs on the turf. The 2011 season was a successful one for Mahbooba, who won two of her eight starts and finished in the money six times. One of those victories came in the listed Etisalat UAE 1000 Guineas; she followed that up with a strong second to Khawlah in the Al Tayer Motors UAE Oaks (UAE-III).

Mahbooba later went on to win the listed Aqlaam Godolphin Stakes at Newmarket before finishing sixth in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) in October. Christophe Soumillon will be in the irons.

Stable companion Reem may provide Mahbooba with some of her toughest competition. The daughter of Galileo floundered in her seasonal debut, finishing a well-beaten 10th in a seven-furlong handicap Jan. 12. Reem does appear to blossom in Dubai; she’s won two of her six starts at Meydan. One of her best races came in defeat when she finished a strong second to River Jetez in the 2011 Balanchine Stakes Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-IIT). Kevin Shea will ride.

First City hopes to make her 2012 debut a winning one for her new connections. Formerly trained by David Simcock for owner Saeed Mislah, the 6-year-old mare by Diktat has only two career victories, but has been keeping some very good company. During her 2011 campaign, First City finished third to Timepiece and Sahpresa in the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) and fourth to Goldikova in the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I).

Royston Ffrench has the call for trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Trainer Tom Dascombe will send out Rhythm of Light. The daughter of Beat Hollow most recently was second to Vanjura in the International Istanbul Trophy (Tur-IIT) in September. Earlier in the year she won the listed Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot. Kieren Fallon will be aboard.

Trainer Jim Bolger entered a rare Dubai runner in Hurricane Havoc. The classic-winning Irish trainer has had only three previous entrants in Dubai. Hurricane Havoc, a 4-year-old daughter of Hurricane Run, will be making her first start since October when she finished sixth in the listed Trigo Stakes at Leopardstown. Regular rider Kevin Manning will be in the saddle.

$200,000 Cape Verde-Sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-II, race 5, 8:20 a.m. EST), 3YOs (SH-bred) & up, 8 furlongs (turf).
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer

1. First City (GB), R. Ffrench, A. Al Raihe
2. Al Sharood (GB), T. O’Shea, D. Watson
3. Reem (Aus), K. Shea, M. de Kock
4. Hurricane Havoc (Ire), K. Manning, J. Bolger
5. Sooraah (GB), R. Moore, W. Haggas
6. Marvada (Ire), S. Foley, K. Condon
7. Mahbooba (Aus), C. Soumillon, M. de Kock
8. Rhythm of Light (GB), K. Fallon, T. Dascombe

All carry 126 pounds.

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